Good morning, Marketers, happy last day of summer (truth be told, I’m wearing my slippers already).

And with that, believe it or not, the countdown to Black Friday is on. With just over 2 months to go, now’s the time to make your list and check it twice to ensure a smooth and profitable holiday shopping (i.e. revenue) season.

George Nguyen spoke with Jackson Lo, Shopify’s SEO lead on international growth, and other marketers about some last-minute tips and techniques for optimizing your site to maximize your organic search visibility by the time Black Friday arrives.

That also includes auditing for crawling issues, broken links, etc.and making sure you’re elevating user experience and making it intuitive and appealing for site visitors to move from being browsers to purchasers.

Keep reading to learn about the deal with gift cards with Buy on Google, the travel industry’s ad outlook and more.

Ginny Marvin


Travel's unprecedented year

We all know the travel industry has been hit especially hard during the pandemic. New data from eMarketer illustrates just how hard. The firm projects U.S. digital ad spend from the sector will plummet by an unprecedented 41% year-over-year to $3.24 billion, after years of solid growth. Before the COVID-19 emerged, eMarketer expected travel digital ad spend to see 19.3% growth.

Why we care. Travel was a big reason Google’s search business saw negative YoY growth (-10%) last quarter. More than other verticals, travel relies heavily on search advertising with nearly 60% of budgets spent on search compared to 40% industry wide and “the $1.91 billion that travel will spend on search will be the least it has transacted on the format since 2016.” A rebound will be slow — Emarketer’s estimates peg the travel industry’s US digital ad spend at slightly above 2017 levels.


Webinar Tomorrow! Build compelling product experiences that fuel great customer experiences

There’s still time to register! Learn about product information management (PIM) and why is it such a hot topic in both B2B and B2C commerce. The ability to leverage PIM to deliver engaging product experiences and to be able to rapidly adapt is *key* in order to scale and grow. Join this webinar and learn how the current landscape has led to rapid digital transformation for online retailers to manage product information and how to deliver the most relevant product content to your customers– at the right time, in the right place.

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Search Shorts

Does cheap hosting hurt your Google rankings?

Cheap hosting hurt Google rankings? There was a new study published that concluded that cheap hosting can hurt your Google rankings. But John Mueller of Google disputed this on Twitter.

Google Merchant Center countries. Google is making some additional changes, which will give you more precise control and clearer diagnostics of the countries where your products are eligible to show. You can now control global product availability in a single place: the feed.

Gift cards. Beginning September 30, Google will be changing the gift card category policy to prohibit the sale of gift cards on Buy on Google. You can learn more here.


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

3 Ways to Use Google Trends for Marketing – Seer Interactive

Google Search Online Therapy Providers Box – Search Engine Roundtable

Helping global publishers accelerate business growth – Google Blog

How to power live event advertising with Ad Manager’s Dynamic Ad Insertion – Google Blog

Kargo and AMP Project Partner To Bring Optimized Mobile Creative To AMP – The AMP Blog

Making data useful for public health – Google Blog

PPC Conversion Tracking: What is it and what can you measure? – Ruler Analytics

Task Search Suggestions at Google – Go Fish Digital

The Theory Behind Ranking Factors — Whiteboard Friday – Moz

Track These 3 SEO KPIs to Make Better Marketing Decisions – Ahrefs

What is Evergreen Content: A Guide to Content That Lasts – SEM Rush